Les Miles is furious that LSU will remain Florida’s permanent cross-division rival for the foreseeable future.

The SEC announced Sunday that they are going to keep the 6-1-1 structure, with a permanent rival ensuring that LSU plays Florida. Auburn and Georgia will keep The South’s Oldest Rivalry, and Alabama will play Tennessee. They will also be mandated to play one out-of-conference game against one team from either the ACC, Pac-12, Big XII or Big Ten per year starting 2016.

Miles told The Advocate: “We play the toughest schedule in America in our conference, and then we have the bias of the permanent partner…We’re now also being mandated to take a BCS team. The bias of the schedule continues to be disproportionate. Fundamentally fair is not something they’ve given great thought to.

In other words: While Alabama plays a stuck-in-a-rut-of-sucking Tennessee team every year, LSU gets a team who – despite a poor season last year – gives his Tigers one of the hardest games in college football week in, week out. The series is 7-6 in the Gators’ favor since 2000.

We measure up the pros and cons of the SEC’s 6-1-1-1 rule, if you see what we mean….

PROS

  • We HATE seeing SEC schools play St John’s College For The Blind during September. We hate it. While it’s great for the Romans in the Coliseum to get their blood, it’s not great for us as a conference in terms of respect….or the fans who are playing a pretty penny to watch crappy football. A decision to mandate SEC schools play an OOC game against another ‘Big Five’ school keeps alive some of the best rivalries – South Carolina vs Clemson, Georgia vs Georgia Tech and Florida vs Florida State are generally pretty hotly-contested games, and reduces the amount of cookie-cutter games out there. We GET The Les is furious because he has to play a big-time school on top of Florida, but imagine if the Tigers beat the lot. Then Miles won’t be decrying the SEC for ‘bias’. And LSU is capable of doing that every year. They are certainly that talented.
  • The ‘permanent rival’ wasn’t such a stupid idea from the SEC’s point-of-view. LSU and Florida have been playing each other every year since 1971. But it also protects some of the more sacred rivalries… Auburn and Georgia has played each other almost every year since 1898. The only times that game didn’t happen? War…and Alabama and Tennessee has met 95 times since 1901.
  • Scheduling a fellow ‘Big Five Team’ gives an LSU a better chance of getting into the four-team College Football Play-Off, particularly if you’ve got five teams who are unbeaten going into the decisions for the four-team play-off. Non-conference schedule might well come into it, and if LSU’s played Ohio State on the road and won, instead of beating the crap out of St John’s College For The Blind, they should get in ahead of a team with a worse non-conference schedule.

CONS

  • Whether we like it or not, SEC schools NEED to play ‘lighter’ teams non-conference, because of the fact that their schedule is so bruising. Imagine if Les Miles’ Tigers has to play Ohio State on the road at the Horseshoe in Columbus, with the SEC schedule on top of that. By the end of the season, Miles might not be beaten, but you can be assured that his players will be. And the injuries will mount up, and he will limp into a play-off.
  • Who cares about tradition? Texas and Texas A&M (God only knows who’s fault that was) burned down their rivalry when A&M came into the SEC. We’re not getting a Notre Dame/Michigan for the first time in almost 50. Tradition doesn’t matter when the importance is on winning. And if fans are angry about ‘fair’, you can understand why Les Miles is feeling a little aggrieved. I suspect Will Muschamp is feeling the same. I also feel that Tennessee feels the same (now – it didn’t when things we going well!). South Carolina gets Texas A&M, starting this year. Bret Bielema gets Missouri starting in 2016. If things are fair, then make sure every SEC team plays each other regularly, Commissioner Slive!!

 

 

 

 

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